As October draws to a close, so does the inaugural celebration of the Inheritance community’s first ever fan-created holiday, Alagaësia Brewfest! Uniting all races of Alagaësia, Brewfest is a holiday centered around celebrating the closing of the Fall harvest, looking back on the year that was, and looking ahead to the future.
Inheritance fans and the Shur’tugal community successfully came together to develop some amazing content for this new Fall holiday. From tasty treats and festive drinks to friendly yet intense games and ceremonies, there was fun to be had for all ages!
Christopher himself has added to Brewfest and its lore, today announcing:
In the ancient language [Brewfest is] called Agaetí Mierthra, the Mead Festival.
Shur’tugal commenter ‘Orik’ provided this fan fiction theory to the origins of Brewfest:
Winter raged on as it had for the past few months, it was then spring and there was no sign of it halting. Eventually the humans and Urgals would run out of firewood, the dwarves their Feldunost and the elves their trees.
It later came to the month called Disting (a Norse month that celebrates ‘The Festival of Idisis’) when the races decided to come together after much thought. They conversed via scrying (using magicians) and met at Ilirea where they decided to bring the best of their magicians to use many spells over the sky to force the storm back. Because of this the winter storm came to an end and the peoples of Alagaesia celebrated the month as ‘Brewfest’, together drinking and celebrating under one city . To this day the seas in the West remain cold and stormy.
Food and Drink
Part of every friendly holiday is having a great selection of festive food and beverages to help the celebration. This year’s Brewfest saw several unique drinks and dishes make their way to the tables of the good folk of Alagaësia. Hearty beers such as Palancar Pirate Pale Ale, The Black Cleaver, lightly flavored pumpkin spice Autumn ale and Dûrmgrimst Ingeitum Double Imperial Stout filled tankards and splashed about as mugs were raised in Dwarf inspired toasts. Other, less “sturdy” beverages were enjoyed as well, including: Hadarac Spice Tea, Horst’s Apple Cider, Golden Dragon Nettle Honeytea, Frostbitten Faelnirv and Private Reserve Black Tea. Revelers with a brave palette could sample the now infamous dwarven delight, Black Jelly (courtesy of Mr. TwelvePips):
The paste, black as ink, has the consistency of thick butter and the taste of pure salt. The dwarves spread it on thick bread, stuff it in pastries, or eat it on its own. Not for the weak of stomach. Oddly enough, it is loved by Urgals, when they can get their hands on it.
Games and Exhibitions
When not drinking or eating, many who celebrate Brewfest took part in several diversions that provided fun and creative ways to liven up the holiday. One such event was the Barrel Full of Arrows archery competition, where Shur’tugal reader provided a fan fiction glimpse into the mind of an elven archer:
Akira the elf recounts his experience in the Barrel Full of Arrows competition:
I have traveled from Ellesmera with the other elves and have spent months preparing for the moment when the Barrel Full of Arrows contest begins. It is no surprise when my table elects me to be their representative archer, I am one of the most skilled archers in Ellesmera and have been firing arrows before I could walk. I move gracefully, my shimmering, silver hair falls perfectly down my back as I leave the table to take my position. Others around me have settled into position as well, and I can almost feel them breathing. Suddenly, there is a hush as the crowd of humans, elves, dwarves, Urgals and even a few werecats wait for us to start. I know the humans are nervously holding their breath, but not the elves. They have faith in me. Suddenly the gong rings, announcing the start of the competition. Instantly there is an arrow in my bow string and I let it fly. I’m nervous, and I can tell because the arrow just barely misses its target. Instantly I’m firing again and this time my arrow makes its mark. There’s cheering on all sides as archers’ arrows pierce barrels repeatedly and guests rush to the liquid flowing from the barrels. The sweet smell of Horst’s apple cider reaches my nose, but nothing can distract me now. I loose arrow after arrow until the barrel has been completely emptied. I raise my chin and survey those around me. Warm pride fills my heart, and my face is flushed with joy. I have won.
Other games included Kull Arm Wrestling, the Brewfest Cup and Elven Treeshaping. Commenter Dee O’Bray helped develop Elven Treeshaping even further:
It would be an event that lasts 3-4 days. There would be no winner (in the same way there is no winner when every elf must make a bit of art for the blood-oath [celebration]) It would just be a way to celebrate the changing of the trees, and so many unique plants could be created with a bit of imagination, like tree branches which look like a Dragon when the leaves fall from it in [Autumn])
Closing ceremonies and the burning of the effigy
As Brewfest reaches its conclusion, merrymakers join together for the Closing Ceremonies of the celebration, culminating with the Burning of the Effigy. (Credit to both Immanuela and Blanca Rodriguez Magem for lore inspiration)
As night descends into blackness, a crowd gathers in the town square, some still carrying their tankards after a satisfying feast. It is the final night of Brewfest, and there is one last event to behold: the burning of the effigy. Citizens of Alagaësia both young and old gaze up at a giant wooden avatar, a great beaked creature with menacing eyes. Murmurs in the crowd identify the wooden effigy as a Ra’zac, a terrible creature that most have only heard of in legends passed along by the tongues of storytellers. It is only fitting then when a hooded figure strides forward to the base of the effigy, revealing themselves as the weathered town bard. In the bard’s hand is a torch, burning bright and illuminating his bearded visage. The bard begins telling the crowd stories of the Ra’zac, recalling frightening tales of myth and terror while detailing the effigy as the representation of the past year’s demons and harsh times. Laying the flaming torch at the base of the wooden Ra’zac, the bard declares that the demons will be burned away to make way for a prosperous new year. As the towering effigy flares into a rumbling blaze, the Brewfest revelers raise their mugs and utter a resounding cheer.
Thank you to all who helped make Brewfest the first holiday of its kind here at Shur’tugal! What did you enjoy most from Brewfest? Do you have any thoughts for next year’s celebration? Let us know in the comments below!